Tags: self portraits

where is my mind


There's this bar on the north side of Chicago called Darkroom, which is a darkroom photography bar. HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS?! See, this is why I need to move up to the north side. I was looking at the pictures of the place on their website and it really looks quite fancy. Black and red. Sleek and modern designs. Sexy and intimate. Sounds like my kind of bar.

I'm going there tonight to check out this band from the Beverly area called Sam Sinclair Trio. They're quite well-known here and play all the time at the Beverly Arts Center and Beverly festivals as far as I'm aware. I'm looking forward to their performance tonight. You all should join me!
where is my mind


I'm not gonna lie. This project is already having its repercussions, but you know what, that's actually a good thing. I always give myself these "projects" to complete, and some times, I don't even finish them, let alone start them. This is something that is good for me. I actually, will not leave my house to go out and play until I have taken my photo for the day.

This gives me something to focus on. It forces me, in a way, to be creative. There are some days where I just don't feel like taking pictures of myself. Perhaps I'm not feeling well, which has been the case for these past few days. I started chewing this nicotine gum to help me keep smoking, and it is terrible! It is completely ick, nasty. There has to be some flavored nicotine gum out there.

I guess it's a good thing that it tastes so nasty, maybe that reason alone will make me quit smoking all together. Hmmm.
where is my mind

Day Ten (365 Day Project)

Some times I feel like I lead two lives. There's my internet persona, where I love to read celebrity gossip, post photos for strangers to see, and talk about my life. I have my internet friends that I talk to on a regular basis because I always find it interesting to communicate with these people that typically live in another state or even another country.

Then there is my real life, where I lay around with my boyfriend and play Nintendo Wii, hang out with friends, work like a dog, go to shows, and get crunk. It's funny to me that none of you will be able to see or know that side of me. That all you will see is a photograph of me and develop some kind of theory or thought or idea or fantasy. Some people really like what I do, and others criticize me for it. But really, the reason I have this internet persona is because I want you to know who I am. I like inviting you into my life, because I like to be a part of yours.
where is my mind

Day Nine (365 Day Project)

Is there a particular band or singer that you obsess over? I have three in particular. I love Beck, OK Go, and Muse. These are my all time favorite bands. I just purchased OK Go's new album (gotta support these native Chicagoans!) and I love it! I saw them live a few months ago and they were so exciting. I've seen them live about 6 times in my life, and every time they preform, they always do something different. I love these guys, and I love it even more that they're from my hometown.

Muse is just the best band in the world. I'm seeing them live for the first time in March and I can't even begin to tell you how freaking excited I am! There have been 2 times where Muse came to Chicago and I couldn't see them because one, they preformed at Lollapalooza in '07 and I wasn't about to dish out 100 bucks just to see them. The other time it was at the Chicago Theatre, but it sold out in a matter of minutes, plus I had to work that night. So, here is my chance!

Beck is simply amazing. I wish I could have seen him in his heyday, like the Midnight Vultures tour where he wore his hot, sexy red pants and did all sorts of crazy dances. 40 year old Beck is not the same, but I love him all the same. His "Odelay" album was the first album that I ever purchased on my own. I was only in fifth grade. I'm in it for the long run. I can't believe he's a scientologist. Weiirrrd.
where is my mind

Day Eight (365 Day project)

This is John. He is my boyfriend of nearly 2 years. We actually had known each other about 2 years prior before we started dating. The way our relationship started is one of those romantic, sappy stories that you might hear. I first met him when I was either 17 or 18. We met through mutual friends; my friend Meghan hung out with Desmond (John's friend) and then I was brought about into the group, but our attraction for each other didn't take off until 2 years later.

I've always had a crush on him. I always thought he was the most gorgeous boy I've ever laid my eyes on. He's extremely tall (6'4") and has these lovely bright blue eyes and ridiculously beautiful long lashes. I always thought to myself, "Ah, this boy could never like me! He is just sooo out of my league, just look at him!"

Then one New Years Eve night, on the verge of the year 2008, something happened. Something came over me, something came over him. I had a huge party at my apartment, he was there with our other friends. We did the countdown and once that was over, I looked around. I was looking for someone to hug, and there he was, in my path of giving hugs and kisses, he pulled me close to him and he kissed me. And he kept kissing me. I had this incredible sensation come over my body. This warm, exciting sensation. I was in awe, I was dazzled.

When we pulled away, I really didn't know what to say. I didn't know how to go about things. Was this something he felt like doing, or was this something he wanted to do? Shortly after that midnight kiss, we started talking. We exchanged numbers (oh, how incredibly sly of you, John ;) ). The next few days became a blur. I saw him nearly everyday after that night and something developed, something clicked.

A few months later, we visited Meghan in Milwaukee and had a great weekend together. When we came back home to Chicago and as we were crossing the bridge, he stopped me, leaned in, and asked me to be his girlfriend. How could I refuse! The rest is history.

I believe that I have found my soul mate, and it's the greatest feeling in the world.
where is my mind

Day Seven (365 Day Project)

I am obsessed with the French. I took French for 4 years in high school and grew a significant amount of love of their culture and language. I was supposed to visit France in my senior year of high school and live with a French family for a week, but because of the war, we were not allowed to go; principal's orders! I was completely devastated and decided to travel to France one day later on in my life. I would love to leave this country for a good month and spend it backpacking through Europe.

I could just imagine myself living a life of wearing couture gowns and sipping espresso and drinking wine in the afternoon with a decadent lunch.

I wish I were French!
where is my mind

Day Five (365 Day Project)

I've been looking for places to live. I moved out of my parents house in 2007 when I was 19. And it was the best year of my life. I was independent, paying my own bills, all while living off of a Jewel-Osco salary! I was able to go to school full-time, work, and shop for my own groceries and cook. I moved back to my parents house in July of 2008 after a year of living on my own because my room mate (my best friend) decided to move to Florida, and I simply couldn't find a replacement.

After being at my parents, for way too long I feel, I am ready to venture out on my own again, and stay out for good. I just can't seem to do anything while I'm stuck at that house. It's small, cramped, not inspiring at all. When I lived on my own, I had so much energy. I miss that energy; I want it back.

I spend my days searching Craigslist and newspapers looking for that right place. This time I'll be living with my boyfriend. I want to explore the north side of Chicago. That's where all the artsy fartsy people are. There's galleries that line up and down the blocks and music venues and restaurants and the night life is always a good time. My best friend and I (my previous room mate) hope to find apartments close to each other so we can do all those wonderful girly things that we used to do.
where is my mind

Day Four (365 Day Project)

It snowed quite heavily in Chicago today. I was pretty unmotivated for the entire day. I spent it thinking of photos to take and watching SpongeBob SquarePants wrapped up in a thick blanket. My camera has been acting all weird, I think I need to charge it, unfortunately I don't have a charger with me at the moment. So, this is the only photo I could really quite get out of it. I don't think it's that great. Bleh.

I really don't have much to say for today. I'm actually quite tired. And I'd much rather lay on the couch watching a movie with John and make some popcorn. Seen any good movies lately? Any suggestions? I think I want to rent Orphan bahahaha.
where is my mind

Day Three (365 Day Project)

My New Year's resolution was to attempt quitting smoking. This is about the third time I've been serious about quitting, and I believe it is something that I really want to do. Fact is, I enjoy smoking cigarettes. I enjoy it with a cocktail and with a cup of coffee. It keeps me awake when I'm at work. Keeps me alert. Yet, I've already noticed changes in my skin, my teeth, and my hair from smoking cigarettes. I've been smoking since I was 18, but I only started heavily smoking when I was about 20. My poison of choice is usually Marlboro Lights with a few Camels and Parliaments thrown in here and there.

I am not quitting cold turkey because that is just ludicrous. I tried it once and ended up with a cigarette in my mouth weeks later, which has eventually led to where I'm at to this day. It is better to ween oneself off of an addiction as opposed to quitting cold turkey. It is just never that simple. You begin to go through withdrawals and drive yourself mad just to have that taste from a cigarette.

Why am I quitting? I don't think that really needs an explanation. I want to be healthy. I'm also sick of being treated like a criminal because I am a smoker. Suddenly, you're looked at differently because you smoke cigarettes. Why is that the case? I'm tired of being judged.

I smoke about a half a pack a day which equates to 10 cigarettes, usually. I'm cutting that in half by 5. So, 5 cigarettes a day, until I'm able to do it successfully for a week. Then I will cut that down to 4, then 3, then 2, then 1, then...
where is my mind


My name is Lisa Stefaniak. I am 22 years old. I've been working at a grocery store named Jewel-Osco for the past 4.5 years, slowly rolling into year 5. I'm a cashier and an attendant for the self-checkouts. Day in and day out, I help people, greet people, and deal with their problems. I'm growing tired of it more and more each day. The only reason I stay is for the insurance.

I've had people ask me time and time again, "Why don't you just quit?" First off, it is not that simple. Secondly, if it were that simple, I would've quite already. The thing about Jewel is that I really do meet some interesting people. It's actually quite a ride to work there. I always have funny stories to tell because people are funny and ridiculous, plain and simple. I used to consider it a good place to work until we were bought out by another company, which led to everything turning into a nightmare. I am constantly fearful of losing my job, losing my insurance, and losing my short temper and attacking a customer, pulling them by the hair and screaming in their face. I was just kidding, but some times I imagine that happening.

After dealing with that place for 4.5 years, and while I slowly roll into that 5 year mark, I am ready for a change. The management blows now and so do the people that work there. All the good people left and were replaced by robots with no personality or life in them, which is sadly what I have become, I feel.

When you go grocery shopping and are finally ready to check out, smile and talk to your cashier. They actually like it. Get off your phone; be respectful. Don't give an attitude when a price comes up wrong, we don't pull these prices out of our asses, folks. You really don't realize the kind of things that are said and done to us.